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20 Jan 2021 | 08:12

Ascential sells Groundshare in £170m deal

(Sharecast News) - Information, data and analytics company Ascential has sold Groundsure to a subsidiary of legal technology, software and information services group ATI Global in a deal worth £170m, it announced on Wednesday. The FTSE 250 firm said the disposal would allow capital to be allocated to its core areas of focus, in particular the "fast-growing" digital commerce segment, including organic investments and potential merger and acquisition opportunities.

In the financial year ended 31 December 2019, Groundsure generated revenue of £20m and adjusted EBITDA before allocation of central costs of £12.4m.

Following the disposal, central costs allocated to Groundsure totalling £1.8m in 2019 would be mitigated through a transitional services agreement and cost savings over the coming year.

The gross assets of Groundsure as at 30 June totalled £8.2m, and a further £1.5m of acquired goodwill and intangibles was held on consolidation.

Ascential's board said the purchase price of £170m comprised initial cash of £140m, subject to customary closing adjustments, and a £30m interest-bearing vendor loan note repayable on or before the end of 2023.

"We are delighted that Groundsure has found new owners who will continue to nurture its strong team, product and potential as an independent standalone business," said chief executive officer Duncan Painter.

"For us, today's transaction brings into even clearer focus our strategy and core customer proposition: enabling our customers to design and create the right products, maximising their marketing impact and optimising their digital commerce performance."

At 0854 GMT, shares in Ascential were up 2.99% at 365p.
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